COVID-19 Conversations: Caring for Kids with Respiratory Issues

Myriah, her six-year-old son, and eight-month-old daughter live on the South Side of Chicago. We spoke with Myriah in early May when she and her family were isolating at home for fear of the virus. With two kids with upper respiratory issues and family members who had died from COVID-19, Myriah was taking the virus very seriously.

Selfie of a woman and her daughter.
Myriah (right) explains how COVID has brought her closer to her daughter (left).

How is life going?

Myriah: Life is going… It’s going. Some days are good, some days are not. Right now I’m pretty paranoid with going outside… We don’t go anywhere… my biggest fear really is if I contracted, that’s one thing, but for me to bring it home to my kids, that’s something totally different.

My son has bronchitis, my daughter has bronchiolitis… they said those people with upper respiratory issues, they are more susceptible to it….

I’m terrified to send them day care. But, I have to work. Bills have to be paid, rent, everything has to be paid. So I don’t have a choice.
- Myriah

How has being at home affected you and your children?

Myriah: None of us are used to just being in the house day in and day out. I think it’s just too much on [my son]. It’s a lot on me so I know it’s a lot on him. It’s pretty frustrating and it’s hard. It’s sad. Because he misses being in school. He misses being with his friends, but now it’s like everything was stripped away from him. When I was not able to celebrate my son’s birthday, it tore me down because we were supposed to take him to Disney for his fifth birthday. And it hurt my feelings because he said I didn’t keep my promise… it made me feel like I was a bad mom because I promised him that we will go this year, but it was circumstances beyond my control.

What have you learned about your kids during this time?

Myriah: I discovered that he [my son] is really helpful with my daughter… She loves the movie Moana and… he knows all the songs… so he sings to her when she used to cry and having a fit because she’s teething… He knows how to soothe her. He learned how to clean her bottles. So, he’s been really helpful with that.

I did learn as well that [my son] has been missing me when I was working like at the job. He told me that he feels like he’s always at school and I’m always at work and then when I get off work, I’m always tired. So, we’ve been using this time to just get back close again and laugh, play.

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